The University of Bedfordshire has unveiled a new online gallery to celebrate the strengths and achievements of its community throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
Featuring students, staff and honorary graduates, the virtual ‘Proud To Be Beds’ exhibition can be explored from the comfort of the viewer’s home. It showcases the heartening and selfless actions of people who have provided comfort, help and support to others during lockdown – and who have made the University ‘proud’.
Despite the arrival of Covid19 bringing uncertainty for the future and disruption to university life, many have been able to volunteer their time and put their skills and knowledge to good use.
Dotted around the gallery are some of the notable actions of Bedfordshire’s student body, including second year Primary Education student, Martha Kay, who launched a series of home-learning art classes for kids on YouTube. Another student featured is Britzer Paul Raj who volunteered his time to make face masks for care homes, charities and NHS staff, as well as helping to deliver food parcels to those in need – all while continuing to study for his PhD with the Institute for Health Research.
Stories of inspiring University staff have also been highlighted, including Operating Department Practise lecturers, Samantha Hull and Andrea Thompson, who volunteered in their spare time to help ICU wards at their local NHS Trusts, and Professor Uvanney Maylor who played a vital role in a local Black Lives Matter debate with BBC Look East, in which she highlighted the need for more prominent black history and diversity within the UK’s education system.
Research plays a big part at the University of Bedfordshire and the pandemic hasn’t stopped academics and researchers from helping in the fight against the disease. Some of these stories highlighted in the ‘Proud To Be Beds’ gallery includes a research project between the School of Life Sciences and a local SME which looks to improve Covid-19 testing, and the news that Professor Gurch Randhawa has been using his research to help raise awareness of the disproportionate health effects Covid19 has on BAME communities.
Bedfordshire honoraries also took a stand in the fight against the pandemic. Featured within the virtual gallery is the story of musician Tom Grennan, who helped out a local food bank in his hometown of Bedford. Meanwhile best-selling author Adam Croft made one of his e-book boxsets completely free as a way to keep readers entertained in lockdown when bookshops and libraries were still closed.
Causes supported by the University during the pandemic – such as the 25th anniversary of Remembering Srebrenica and the struggling local arts scene which received over £300k in emergency funding – also feature in the ‘Proud To Be Beds’ exhibition.
We're very proud of our staff who donated 1200 pairs of a much-needed supply of disposable gloves to Bedford’s @SMART_CJS Prebend Centre, to help during the #COVID19 pandemic.— School of SSPA (@UoB_SSPA) April 29, 2020
If you have spare gloves or hand sanitizers and would like to donate, please do #ProudToBeBeds pic.twitter.com/f4vN7Fp8KE
Featuring photos, social media highlights, news stories and video content, the virtual gallery has been created for the public to ‘walk’ around at their leisure. Upon entry, a Welcome Room gives an overview of the exhibition and a ‘map’ will help to guide visitors around each room.
The ‘Proud To Be Beds’ gallery can be explored online by visiting the University of Bedfordshire’s news pages: www.beds.ac.uk/news/proud-to-be-beds/
A Masters student from University of Bedfordshire has developed a primary school sports initiative to help address, reduce and manage mental health in early age children, using elements of martial arts practise.
The State of Youth Justice – a comprehensive analysis of the youth justice system by an academic from the University of Bedfordshire, published today by the National Association for Youth Justice (NAYJ) – found that the Covid-19 pandemic has had serious consequences for children in prison, including a significantly reduced time for education as well as social interactions with the outside world.
Throughout lockdown whilst students studied from home, staff at the University of Bedfordshire have been busy behind the scenes making each campus Covid-secure for new and returning students this autumn.
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